Monday, July 26, 2010

RIP Daniel Schorr

One of my heroes has passed away. Daniel Schorr died in D.C. this weekend at 93. He was one of the Murrow Boys, working for CBS news from 1953. His gumption and intelligence allowed him to rise through the ranks until he became chief of the Moscow bureau during the height of the Cold War. His reporting rankled the Kremlin to the point where his visa would not be renewed by the Soviets. But he was loathed by nationalists on both sides and when he broke the story of Nixon's enemies list, reading it aloud on the air, he was shocked to find his own name there.

When Ted Turner created CNN, Daniel Schorr was the first on air person hired. While there, he not only helped create cable news, but showed dedication rarely seen in any field. An overhead light exploded just before he was on camera and sparks set alight his trousers. While many of the politicians he reported on metaphorically had their pants on fire, Daniel Schorr gave us the news with his literally burning.

His voice lived on for years as a senior news analyst for NPR where he served the role as elder statesman and the converse of Cokie Roberts, giving thoughtful, insightful, and contextualized understanding to the events of the day often bringing stories to the discussion that perfectly explained how things came to be what they are. There are few voices that commanded full attention as soon as they are heard, Daniel Schorr's was one. Whenver you heard that deep, slow, intelligent voice, you had to listen carefully because you knew whatever was about to be said was well worth hearing.

Rest in peace Daniel Schorr, you will be missed.